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[TechSparks 2020] Apple AI/ML engineer on how aspiring techies can find their way to next-gen technologies – YourStory

“Anyone who can match up with the changing curves in technology can expect success in any space, and so as in machine learning,” Aaksha Meghawat, an AI/ML engineer at Apple, told YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma in a virtual fireside chat at YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks 2020. At Apple, Aaksha works on NPL technology.
She spoke about her personal achievements, women in tech, feminism, and being part of the tech revolution.
Having always been intrigued by the internet, Aaksha started her tech journey from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS Pilani), went on to pursue her higher education from Carnegie Mellon University, and finally, landed a job at the Cupertino-based tech giant. 
Sharing key learnings from her journey, Aaksha stressed upon the importance of online courses and staying ahead of the curve and advised aspiring techies to always look out for what online courses are offering. “It is very actionable, as it gives you the direction of what’s going to be relevant four years or five years down the line,” she said.
She added that the internet helped her take the first few steps in ML with online courses or MOOCs, which she pursued through Andrew Ng’s ML programme.
“I felt that the big information revolution is happening in human time, and I wanted to be part of this revolution. So, that’s how I got started,” Aaksha shared.  
For people who want to pursue machine learning as a career, she said it is all about statistics, with scale, and at scale. 
Future of work
According to Aaksha, “The change of curves in technology is becoming exponential from linear. And, if you want to survive those curves, you want to survive those changes.” 
The changing curve could not be a more relevant topic than now. Like Aaksha puts it, COVID-19 is a time of acceleration of questions we were asking ourselves. This is a time for everybody to assess what value they are getting from what they are doing. 
Speaking about the future of work, she also highlighted that one should think about how we deliver value to some business or to some problem that exists. 
“It doesn’t have to be wildly different from what you are doing, but you just have to spend 20 percent of your time thinking about what the next important problem is,” she added.
Besides, Aaksha believes one should give actual significant weightage to their interests and should keep themselves future-ready as things are changing very fast.
Last but not least, Aaksha urged entrepreneurs to take charge of their lives, and said, “Be in the driver seat of your own life and not let anyone else drive the direction of your life.” 
For more information on TechSparks 2020, check out our TechSparks 2020 website. Sign up here to join the event. 

TechSparks – YourStory’s annual flagship event – has been India’s largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we’ve received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.